Why we should all ditch turmeric supplements
People with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) may be at higher risk of contracting the coronavirus than those without the illness, a new study finds.
The study by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and Johns Hopkins University found that patients with IBD who take a supplement containing turmeric have a 4.5-fold higher risk than those who do not.
They were also more likely to have symptoms of inflammatory bowel diseases, such as bloating, constipation and diarrhea.
The findings were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
“It’s a little surprising,” said senior author Dr. Jennifer Fink, an assistant professor of internal medicine at the university.
“IBD is one of the more common chronic inflammatory diseases, and people who have it tend to have it for longer periods of time.”
Fink said that for many people, taking a supplement such as turmeric may be necessary for a number of different health reasons, including to prevent complications such as arthritis and depression.
“I’ve been told that people who take turmeric, or other types of plant extracts, are in better shape than those with no IBD, but there are other factors that are contributing to increased risk,” Fink said.
Fink’s study focused on the results of a large, prospective, population-based study that involved more than 14,000 people.
The study, the largest to date, included more than 6,000 patients with irritable bowel syndrome and other gastrointestinal conditions.
The research team found that people with IBS were 2.9 times more likely than those not diagnosed with IB to report bloating and constipation.
They also had significantly higher rates of diarrhea, bloating symptoms and bloating-related illness.
In fact, patients who had IBS had an average of 2.3 times the risk of developing diarrhea, 2.5 times the chance of developing bloating or 2.6 times the likelihood of developing constipation compared with people not diagnosed.
Researchers also found that the risk for patients with chronic inflammatory bowel disorders was highest among people with inflammatory conditions.
The researchers said that they found a higher risk for IBD among those with inflammatory diseases compared with those with ulcerative colitis, irritable-bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease and multiple sclerosis.
The researchers also found a stronger association between inflammatory bowel conditions and IBS than for inflammatory conditions, such that patients who have inflammatory bowel problems were more than three times as likely as those without IBS to have Crohn’t.
However, the study didn’t account for factors that could contribute to the higher risk in patients with inflammatory disorders.
The authors did note that other research suggests that people may be able to treat IBS through the use of certain dietary supplements.
For instance, people who suffer from Crohn-type or ulcer-related disease may be more susceptible to consuming certain types of probiotics or plant extracts that may also be beneficial in IBS.
The authors said that the research shows that a healthy diet can help lower risk factors for inflammatory bowel disorder.